US ships Zika test for pregnant women; Puerto Rico at risk

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Washington, Feb 11: The US government is shipping Zika virus tests for pregnant women to health departments, as travelers try to tell if they returned with an infection that could put a developing baby at risk.

But officials warn there could be temporary shortages. Health officials don't expect widespread transmission of the mosquito-borne virus in the continental US.

Zika

But they said today that Puerto Rico is especially vulnerable as they sought emergency funding from Congress to battle an outbreak quickly spreading through Latin America.

Zika is suspected of causing abnormally small heads in developing babies, a defect called microcephaly that may indicate underlying brain damage. Federal health officials advise pregnant women not to travel to Zika-affected areas. Those who already have can seek testing to help determine their risk, although the tests aren't perfect. 

AP

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